I’ve been wanting to start a chat thread for a while. I agree with codinghorror that some number of threads turn into chat threads because people just want to chat with each other. Until he releases this new feature, this can be the thread for that. Permission to start a chat thread is here.
I know there are threads where people chat about their lives but I’m not the type of person who likes small talk much or is good at sharing about my personal life.
This is a thread for people like me who just want to chat about random stuff, the more real time the better. I’m really liking the Discourse feature where you can see people responding so you know they’re happily composing something and haven’t just left.
If this works, people can add new topics as the thread goes along or this could spawn new topics.
First topic: Why don’t you like small talk?
Me: Too scripted for me.
Second topic: What’s the meaning of life?
Me: 42 and so much more.
Megatopics are genuinely rare “in the wild” . Right now I’m looking at the archives of a forum we migrated to Discourse in 2017 that dates back to 2003, and sorting by replies, I count 7 topics out of 87,602 that are over 10k replies. Seven! That’s about 1 megatopic for every ten thousand topics. There’s also a fairly steep dropoff in topic length at that point; only 9 additional topics are over 8k replies.
What’s the ratio of posts, though? A 1:10000 ratio isn’t that low for a threshold of 10k posts–it’s equivalent to a topic with one post. Most topics aren’t that short, but most aren’t very long, either. If the average topic has 10 posts, then >10% of the posts belong to megatopics. That’s not rare at all.
I think one of the hallmarks of a true chat program, e.g. IRC / Slack / Discord, is that everyone’s lines get skooshed together and it’s hard to tell who said what. With the way Discourse auto-formats everybody’s posts into nice little boxes with spacing in between and avatars and names and all the options at the bottom, it just doesn’t feel the same.
Odd. Discourse looks almost exactly like Slack in my experience. Little avatars to the left, screenname farther right and above the post, timestamp a little farther over, and a little menu on the bottom to navigate to replies, add likes/flags, etc. The only tiny difference I see is that Discourse has a barely perceptible gray line between each post (Slack only does that per day). And Slack has a navigation bar on the left, but you weren’t referring to that.
Maybe it’s the Discourse theme I’m using, but I’m seeing a very noticeable gray space between each post here. I also haven’t used Slack in years, so it’s quite possible they’ve redesigned their UI since then.
Yeah, I can see what you mean, this particular Slack UI looks not too different from Discourse, except for the gray space between posts which apparently only I can see.
I can see the gray line in Discourse, it just doesn’t have a strong visual effect to my eyes. The bolded screen names on the other hand do make for a strong separation, even in my peripheral vision. And that has the same effect in Discourse and Slack. The avatars also help.
I’ll admit, the Discourse interface is better for long, well thought out posts, as well as keeping track of who said what. But the way the reply panel pops up every time I want to type something, having to press the “Reply” button to post instead of simply hitting the Enter key, and the separators I’m seeing in the Discourse-classic theme, really puts up an impediment to mimicking the frenetic “town hall” style that I’m accustomed to from chat rooms in the past.